Simon Beaufoy ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

Oscar: Adapted screenplay

Why he’ll win: The feel-bad then feel-good movie of the year, based on the novel “Q&A” by Vikras Swarup, seems poised to barrel over anything in its exuberant path. And Beaufroy, who was also nominated for “The Full Monty,” has already scooped up top prizes from the Golden Globes, Broadcast Film Critics and the National Board of Review, among others.

Maybe not: The pic’s overall success really belongs to the keen eye of Danny Boyle, and the screenplay would have faltered under less steady hands.

Critical quote: “This sprawling, madly romantic fairy-tale epic is the kind of deep-dish audience-rouser we’ve long given up hoping for from Hollywood,” says Ty Burr of the Boston Globe.